Celebrations in the Lost Pines aren’t just limited to the traditional end-of-year holiday season. While December’s especially festive, some of the region’s most enduring annual traditions – as well as new and fun additions – make the Lost Pines calendar a very festive, all-year-long affair.
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6-7, Bastrop Convention & Exhibit Center
Celebrating local artists, the Bastrop Fine Arts Guild hosts a two-day art show and sale showcasing more than 40 artists in a variety of media.
Sunday, Oct. 14, Downtown Smithville
This annual event, now in its fourth year, transforms downtown Smithville into a number of photo opportunity stations, and encourages all levels of photographers, using either digital or film cameras, to take shots and enter a photo contest sponsored by the Smithville Times.
Saturday, Oct. 27, Downtown Elgin
The 25th annual incarnation of this festival, set in the self-proclaimed Sausage Capital of Texas, utilizes a number of puns celebrating pigs and hogs — including a barbecue cookoff, an actual punning contest seeing how creative people can be with pigs, the singing Elgin Sowpremes (who ride into town on hogs — the Harley variety, of course), and a children’s costume pet parade. It’s essentially small-town Texas at its most dedicated.
Wednesday, Oct. 31, Downtown Bastrop
Main Street in Bastrop is transformed via this free annual Halloween celebration in which the town goes all out to delight both kids and adults. The round-up of attractions includes a live wax museum at the Bastrop Opera House, costume and pumpkin carving contests, a hay ride sponsored by the Bastrop Fire Department, a haunted house, trick-or-treating, games, a giant slide and more.
Friday, Nov. 9 through Sunday, Nov. 11, Downtown Bastrop
This annual tradition draws fans of classic cars and tricked-out motorcycles to downtown Bastrop for a weekend festival that also honors the service of veterans. Festivities include a drive-in movie on Friday night, a phenomenal car show on Saturday afternoon (with at least 250 cars expected for this year’s version) and a Sunday brunch event (and another opportunity to see cars and cycles) at the Hyatt Lost Pines.
Thursday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 9, Downtown Bastrop
This annual four-day celebration, spanning the second week of December and the two days prior, makes Bastrop a regional and even statewide holiday destination. Highlights include the Bastrop Holiday Homes Tour, a Christmas street market, a lighted Christmas parade that underscores Bastrop’s small-town charm and a series of performances at the historic Bastrop Opera House.
Saturday, Dec. 29, Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa
Since last year, the Saturday after Christmas Texas birders have a new place to go for the annual Christmas Bird Count — the Lost Pines Christmas Bird Count. The day-long event, hosted by Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, LCRA’s McKinney Roughs Nature Park, the Bastrop County Audubon Society, and the National Audubon Society, provides birding enthusiasts the chance to spot the more than 250 species of birds who make their home in the Lost Pines. The Hyatt is also hosting workshops the day before the bird count, as well as a chili and cornbread supper following the excursion.
Monday, Dec. 31, Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa
This New Year’s Eve, the grounds of the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa will become perhaps the classiest carnival Bastrop’s ever hosted. The hotel’s package includes accommodations for the night of December 31, a barbecue dinner in fine Texas tradition, entry to the New Year’s Eve Jamboree and New Year’s Day breakfast for a family of four (two adults and two children under 12).
The carnival attractions include an array of games (with winners getting prizes), carousel and Ferris wheel rides, music and dancing, jump houses, face-painting, balloon artists, s’more roasting, resort mascots making the rounds, and to herald in the New Year, a fireworks display featuring a toast to new beginnings with champagne or Shiner Bock beer. (The celebration will be strictly for resort guests — packages start at just over $500.)
Friday and Saturday, April 26–27, 2013, Downtown Bastrop
This two-day festival, in downtown Bastrop, which begins with Friday evening’s street dance celebrating the region’s Hispanic heritage, is a celebration of the variety of cultures that figure into Bastrop history. African, Mexican, Native American, German, Czech and Scottish cultures will be honored through historic recreations, live music, and other related festivities. Attendees are encouraged to participate by dressing the part.
Saturday, July 6, 2013, Downtown Bastrop
The Bastrop Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Patriotic Festival featuring the Austin Symphonic Band and fireworks over the Colorado River in Fisherman’s Park, downtown Bastrop.
Wednesday, July 31 through Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013, Downtown Bastrop
This annual series of events, which includes class reunions, rodeos, dances, a Grand Parade, a carnival, and plenty of food, is Bastrop’s celebration of itself. At 66 years old, the annual jubilee is the town’s longest-running celebration and shows no signs of slowing down.
When you go, search for the Bastrop TX app at your smart phone app store for a handy guide to the Lost Pines region.